German Troops in Lebanon
As Reuters reported on September 13, 2006, “Germany’s cabinet approved plans on Wednesday to send naval and air forces to Lebanon… Up to 2,400 German personnel will patrol the Lebanese coast to prevent weapons reaching Hizbollah, enforcing the terms of a truce which ended the month-long war… ‘Sending troops to the Middle East is for us a historic decision,’ Chancellor Angela Merkel said.”
Deutsche Welle added: “Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung said Germany would lead the marine component of the UN force and has been given ‘a robust but not aggressive mandate’ to patrol Lebanon’s coast. ‘We will control the whole of Lebanon’s waters, within 50 nautical miles of the coast. We will have the right to use force against vessels that show resistance,’ he said. Two frigates, four fast patrol boats, two supply ships, one tender, and two helicopters will be deployed by Germany in cooperation with naval forces being sent by the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, said Merkel and Jung. Merkel… said a Lebanese naval liaison officer would be aboard one of the German ships ‘but there would be no chance for a veto’ from the Lebanese. German naval vessels would then be able to take up position off the Lebanese coast by early October. Germany is also providing a small number of border police and customs officials to be stationed at Beirut International Airport to supervise incoming cargo.”
The German Parliament must still approve the deployment. It is to vote next week. Since Merkel’s conservatives and their Social Democrat coalition partners hold a large majority, an affirmation of the German cabinet’s decision is expected.
Der Spiegel Online added that the German government foresees its military intervention in Lebanon to last “for many years,” even though Germany’s current mandate will expire on August 31, 2007. According to the magazine, Merkel stated that this is the beginning of a “far-reaching German engagement in the region.” It was further pointed out that the employment of its troops will cost Germany 46 million euros in 2006 and 147 million euros in 2007. It was stressed that the German navy will function in cooperation with the Lebanese navy, but Germany is authorized to act on its own, if need be.
In order to learn more about the prophetic significance of German troops in the Middle East, please read our free booklet, “Europe in Prophecy.”
Leave It to Iran?
USA Today reported on September 13 that “U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Wednesday that most leaders in the Middle East believe the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and its aftermath [is] ‘a real disaster.’ Annan said the United States was now in the difficult position where ‘it cannot stay and it cannot leave.’ He said the leaders he spoke to on his recent trip to the Middle East fell into two camps: Some believed the United States cannot walk away from Iraq, while others, such as Iran, said it should leave and they would help stabilize the country.”
The Associated Press reported on September 13 that “Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made his first official visit to Iran, a close ally, asking the Islamic regime on Tuesday to crack down on al-Qaida militants infiltrating his country and seeking new deals to help Iraq’s troubled oil industry. The visit reflected the complex relationship between Iran, a mostly Shiite Muslim country, and Iraq’s government, now dominated in the post-Saddam Hussein era by Shiite allies of Tehran. Since Saddam’s fall in 2003, Iraq has sought better relations with Iran… The two enjoy increasingly strong ties that include new oil cooperation. Iraq has already turned to Iran for help with a chronic shortage of petroleum goods, reaching a deal last month to import Iranian gasoline, kerosene and cooking fuel. Iraqi officials said al-Maliki’s visit and other recent exchanges could improve the cooperation.”
Strong Words From Netanyahu
On September 13, ynetnews.com reported that Israel’s Knesset member Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Al-Qaeda can’t develop nuclear weapons, while the militant Shiite movement is galloping forward towards developing nuclear terror… Hitler went out on a world campaign first, and then tried to get nuclear weapons. Iran is trying to get nuclear arms first. Therefore from that perspective, it is much more dangerous… Hitler was defeated because he could not develop weapons of mass destruction. But Iran stands close to developing nuclear weapons. Does the world understand? In Europe, where I returned from, there are glimpses of understanding… International terrorism is a mistaken term, not because it doesn’t exist, but because the problem is international militant Islam. That is the movement… that operates terror on the international level, and that is the movement that is preparing the ultimate terror, nuclear terrorism…”
The German Pope in Germany
Benedict XVI’s second visit to Germany, as Pope, was not just meant to be a vacation. The Associated Press of September 9 reported:
“Benedict’s election aroused mixed feelings in Germany–the now largely secular land of the Protestant Reformation, and home to a shrinking and distinctly liberal Catholic Church. But there is also strong pride in the German pope, particularly in Bavaria. Munich’s Abendzeitung newspaper devoted its front page to a photo of a smiling Benedict under the headline ‘Welcome home!’ The Munich edition of the mass-circulation Bild daily’s front page said: ‘Benedict, we love YOU.’
AFP added on September 11: “In European countries like Germany, the number of churchgoers has dwindled in recent years and papal authority has been questioned. While his visit is partly a trip down memory lane, Benedict is keen to try to halt the decline of religious observance in his native Germany. Recent figures indicate some 100,000 people turn their back on the Church in Germany annually.”
Der Stern stated on September 12 that both German President Horst Koehler and Bavaria’s Prime Minister, Edmund Stoiber, asked the Pope to set clearer signals in support of the ecumenical movement, in order to unify the Catholic and Protestant Churches. Koehler, a Protestant, and Stoiber, a Catholic, encouraged the Pope to empathize the similarities between the two big churches, rather than the issues which separate them. The Pope told Koehler that he will take Koehler’s prayer for unity back to Rome, stating, according to Der Spiegel Online of September 9, that “we will attempt to reach unity with our hearts and with our intellects.” Bavaria’s Interior Minister, Guenther Beckstein, participated with Stoiber at a Mass, conducted by the Pope. Beckstein, a Protestant, stated that “especially during the ‘Lord’s Supper,’ the separation between the two big Christian churches becomes, sadly, very obvious.”
It is presently the official position of the Catholic Church that no Protestant is permitted to participate at Catholic “communion” or the “Lord’s Supper.”
In other news, Der Spiegel Online reported on September 12 that during his visit, “Pope Benedict XVI prayed at the statue of the Black Madonna, one of Germany’s holiest sites.” The statue is situated in the town of Altötting, where the Pope “had worshipped as a child. Legend has it that a three-year-old girl was brought back to life after drowning when her mother put her before the wooden Madonna in 1489.”
In a related article of September 12, Der Spiegel Online quoted the Pope, stating that he was pleading with the “mother of God” to receive her blessing for the Church worldwide, and for all people of good will.
The Associated Press reported on September 9: “German President Horst Koehler and Chancellor Angela Merkel greeted the pontiff ahead of his ride to the city’s central Marienplatz square, where he was to offer a prayer at its 17th-century statue of the Virgin Mary, the patroness of Bavaria — Germany’s Roman Catholic heartland.”
In a veiled attack on evolution, the Pope made the following comments, according to The Associated Press of September 12:
“Benedict in his sermon scoffed at the idea of a ‘mathematically ordered cosmos’ without any hand of God. He said this would mean ‘nothing more than a chance result of evolution. We believe in God… This is a fundamental decision on our part.'”
The Catholic religion has embraced many teachings which are not derived from the Bible, but from pagan cultures and philosophies. Our free booklet, “Don’t Keep Christmas,” proves this fact beyond doubt. The Bible also prophesies that the Catholic and the Protestant Churches will unite. But this temporary and passing unification will not be pleasing to God.
U.S. Sanctions Against North Korea?
The Associated Press reported on September 12 that “The United States is moving to impose sanctions on North Korea for test-launching a series of missiles in July, a senior South Korean official said Tuesday. South Korea’s main news agency reported, meanwhile, that the North had rejected an offer for direct talks with the U.S. over its nuclear program… South Korea’s main spy agency has said the communist regime [of North Korea] could test a nuclear device at any time… Many experts believe the North has enough radioactive material to build at least a half-dozen nuclear weapons.”
Germany Remembers September 11, 2001
Der Spiegel Online made the following comments on September 11, 2006, describing how the world has changed for the worse since September 11, 2001:
“‘Nine-Eleven’ has entered the English language as a metaphor, an abbreviation even bigger than a millennial milestone: 9/11 broke through Fortress America, turning it into another country. George W. Bush has tried to turn the planet into another world. And failed.”
The article continued:
“… At first the United States and Europe closed ranks; yet soon amity turned to enmity in one of the worst ideological conflicts the two continents have ever seen. The United States, by its own definition not an imperial power… considered itself ‘at war.’ To wage its ‘war against terror,’ the U.S. president availed himself of immense powers both at home and abroad. He suspended many of the civil rights that his nation had always cherished, and elevated the ‘preemptive strike’ to a divine doctrine: America had every right to launch an unprovoked attack against any country suspected of abetting terrorists.
“The United States squandered the international sympathy and solidarity showered upon it in the immediate aftermath of September 11. Even in Tehran, people had spontaneously taken to the streets, while the French newspaper Le Monde had declared: ‘We are all Americans.’ But the Bush administration decided to go it alone: it scoffed at traditional alliances and institutions like the United Nations, and arbitrarily ignored international law…
“The dreams of swift strikes and longlasting victories in the war against terror are in tatters, along with illusions of regime change in the Middle East. Much has changed over the past five years, but little has improved. The world has become a more violent and complex place. Osama bin Laden, who has declared war on the West in general and the U.S. superpower in particular, is still at large–presumably hiding out along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan… The United States now has credibility issues that are both political and moral, and a superpower status that rests solely on arms supremacy. The nation is light years ahead when it comes to investing in military might; in the list of big spenders, it devotes more funds to weapons than the next 10 countries combined…
“Today other countries in other regions are making world history. The Asian century is dawning at this very moment. India, and above all China, are experiencing dramatic economic booms, and styling themselves America’s peers on the world political stage… The winners of the American war are outside Iraq, and one of them is Osama bin Laden. For al Qaeda, Iraq has become the Afghanistan of the 1990s: the battlefield in its jihad against an infidel superpower. Iran, ironically enough, is another of the winners–and didn’t have to lift a finger. Having seen its arch-enemy Saddam toppled, Teheran is happily picking up the pieces.
“Iran’s influence is spreading in southern Iraq where the Shiites form the majority. The longer the war lasts, the greater the political spoils for the mullahs. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a man with apocalyptic visions, has replaced the mild-mannered Mohammad Khatami as president. While a debilitated America falters, Iran is developing the technology to build nuclear weapons, and is well on the way to becoming the region’s dominant power.
“… Of the many depressing statistics from the president’s second term, this is probably his most depressing: More than 50 percent of Americans now consider George W. Bush ‘dishonest.’ Such huge credibility gaps are rare in U.S. politics… In their joint study conducted for Foreign Policy and the highly respected think tank ‘Center for American Progress,’ 84 percent disagreed with Bush’s statement that the United States was winning the war against terrorism. Eighty-six percent said they thought the world was a more dangerous place. Only 10 percent were expecting positives from the Iraq war. A devastating indictment. ‘The Worst President in History?’ the U.S. magazine Rolling Stone asked pointedly on a cover in May…
“Five years after 9/11, a new international order is emerging. While the United States can still boast the greatest economic and military might on the planet, claims of unipolarity and American hegemony are no longer credible. The rise of China and India as major powers and Russia’s return to the major political leagues cannot be denied. And lesser powers are emerging as well, small and mid-sized players, public and private, each of them vying for influence… This world is fragmented, labyrinthine and unpredictable.”
Our free booklets, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America,” and “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord,” give detailed information as to what is prophesied to happen soon in the USA, Great Britain, continental Europe, the Middle East, and the rest of the world.
Germans Angry With America
Der Spiegel Online reported on September 11 about the view of the German press toward the USA:
“As German commentators reflect on the events and aftermath of 9/11 five years later, there is a strangely forceful consensus: the US was right to force the Taliban from power and it was right to strengthen security, even at the cost of some personal liberties. But there is also broad agreement that Washington’s anti-terror policy is deeply flawed in Iraq and in its willingness to sacrifice fundamental rights of its own citizens as well as largely ignore international law. Germans and most Europeans are angry about Guantanamo, about secret CIA prisons, and the president’s continued use of incendiary rhetoric such as referring to the terrorists as ‘Islamic fascists.’ Before Bush launched the war against Iraq, Germany raised its voice in opposition and said the US would ignite a wildfire with no plan for putting out the flames. The tone of Monday’s editorials in German newspapers feel sadly vindicated by the events of the past five years.”
Virtually Untreatable Tuberculosis
The BBC reported on September 6: “A ‘virtually untreatable’ form of TB has emerged, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Extreme drug resistant TB… has been seen worldwide, including in the US, Eastern Europe and Africa… TB presently causes about 1.7 million deaths a year worldwide, but researchers are worried about the emergence of strains that are resistant to drugs. Drug resistance is caused by poor TB control, through taking the wrong types of drugs for the incorrect duration.”
A “New Vision” for Europe
On September 8, the EUOberserver reported about the European vision of French interior minister and presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy, proposing “radical EU reforms such as getting the European Commission president to pick his own commissioners and cross-border European Parliament elections–but first he wants a new EU ‘mini treaty.'”
The article continued: “Mr Sarkozy already caused some alarm in small and mid-size member states last year by proposing that the EU’s ‘big six’ should together take up a leading role in the union–an idea which he repeated on Friday… France and Germany should pioneer… with cross-border political platforms in the 2009 elections… The ‘mini treaty’ would include key parts of the constitution such as its voting rights provisions and plans to create an EU foreign minister, on which there is a ‘large consensus. It would provide a way out for those countries that voted “no” without humiliating those who voted “yes”‘, he said, adding that the French EU presidency in 2009 should finalise the text. On enlargement… he said that Turkey should stay out. ‘We should now say who is European and who isn’t,’ he said.”
Europe will unite soon–and it is most likely that ten core nations or groups of nations–not just six– will ultimately lead the rest of continental Europe, under the strong leadership of a German or Austrian political personage, called the “beast” in Biblical prophecy.